Monday Memo: news & views about working at UC

For the Week of September 22, 2014

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On Friday, UC’s regents voted nearly unanimously to give three executives pay raises of 20% and boost the pay of a fourth to correct what they said were the “injustices” of their low pay – all of them earn substantially more than $300,000. One Monday Memo reader commented that administrative professionals at UC have received no such increase, “in spite of years of salary stagnation.  Apparently ‘injustice’ only applies at the top, and doesn't trickle down,” she wrote. The sole vote against the raises was California’s Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, who is an ex officio regent.

Strike Debt, a movement to raise funds to pay off student loans, has raised $3.8 million to release over 2,700 students from their debt, according to the Guardian.The group chose to pay off loans for students at Everest College, owned by Corinthian Colleges, a for-profit institution that chases down its students with debt collectors and garnishes their disability or wage checks if they can’t pay back loans, according to NBC News.

UC president Janet Napolitano defended the increasing numbers of out-of-state and foreign students, who pay more for their education than do in-state residents, in an interview in Market Watch. She also told the Wall Street Journal she wants to cut $6.5 billion out of UC’s operating costs.

Candy maker Mars is donating $40 million over 10 years to UC Davis for a new “food research institute,” according to the Sacramento Bee. The donation will be matched by $20 million from the university. While the company says the institute will fund research into the health benefits of cocoa and chocolate, critics have said that such centers are often intended to deflect criticism about the health effects of sugar-filled products. 

According to the California Federation of Labor, Governor Jerry Brown has signed new pro-worker legislation requiring companies to give three paid sick days to new categories of workers, making the state the second in the nation to mandate such coverage. Brown also signed a bill encouraging the film industry to stay in the state, which proponents say will keep hundreds of thousands of jobs in California.

In the largest labor organizing victory in the South in decades, 9,000 American Airlines customer service workers have voted by an 86% margin for Communications Workers of America union representation

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The Monday Memo is edited collectively by a group of UC administrative professionals who are working for union representation with UPTE-CWA. We publish most Mondays, unless it is a university holiday, or we just need a mental health day off. We welcome your submissions, either credited or anonymous, at mondaymemo@upte-cwa.org. Please feel free to forward this memo to your colleagues.

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